So you’ve been training for a few months now, or even a few years and it’s time to up your game a little. Well aside from SHOWING UP TO CLASS more, attending a seminar in your area is a great way to learn some new techniques and hone your skills. Not only will you get to learn some new techniques and insight to another school of thought for Bjj. It also gives you a chance to meet with others from around your area in a non-competition atmosphere.
For starters here are some tips for choosing what seminar to attend. First the instructor, it never hurts to google them and watch some videos. This will give a little insight as what to expect from them. Second, look for any skill level restrictions/recommendations. As a Purple Belt, going to a seminar for white belts is probably going to be a waste of time and money.
Same going to a Blue Belt and above as a brand new white belt there will be techniques that require much more skill and won’t benefit you until long after you’ve forgotten them. Lastly the cost. Obviously make sure you’re going to get a good bang for your buck! Some of these can get pricey.
Okay, now that hot new Black Belt from the coast is going to be in town. You know the one that dominated the last competition. So you’ve signed up for his seminar, now what? First make sure you’ve let the host gym know you’re coming for sure, because it’s polite and they have a better handle on how many people to expect. For the week or two leading up, take notes on some problem area’s in your game. Many times there is a Q&A and they might have the perfect technique for you.
Be ready to learn a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. Many seminars I’ve gone to the instructor seems to go over 100 different submissions from every position, and then show more stuff in Q&A. Bring a notebook, write down things you might not have a full grasp of right away. This will let you review and practice what was covered over a longer time frame.
Ask questions! If you don’t understand something or you’re having problems with a certain move, ask. That being said, ask relevant questions. The instructor might have a pretty sweet Gi, but you don’t need to ask him where he got it right after he shows a technique. Save things like that for after the seminar.
Manners, I wish I didn’t have to put this in here. But MIND YOUR MANNERS! Remember that you are a guest in someone else’s school, this is not your instructor, and these are not your training partners. Some schools are more relaxed than others and some are more strict. Be polite, address any black belts as sir or ma’am unless told otherwise. Watch your filthy little mouths. Some sh*t my fly at your home gym, but this school might not like your potty mouth. Remember you are representing your school and instructor.
If you’re school is hosting, same rules apply. Be welcoming, be polite, and mind your manners.
Alright one last thing then I’ll get off my etiquette soap box. Show up clean, and with a clean gi. Ain’t nobody got time for your stanky butt! I shouldn’t have to say it, but we all know that guy.
In summary, Seminars are great. I always learn a lot and meet a lot of cool people. Just bring your thinking caps and good manners and remember to have fun! NOW GO TRAIN!